Is That Your Final Answer?
By Michael Angier
The quizmaster's question from the popular television game show
"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," has become a common
So what's YOUR final answer?
When we attempt to solve problems, we oftentimes settle for less than
the best solution by accepting the first answer that comes up. Our
"final answer" is all too often our FIRST answer and we never
find out what other answers we might have come up with.
In our rush to have the problem solved, we miss out on the elegant
solutions we could have achieved. We short-change ourselves, and those
affected, by taking the easy way out.
But unlike the game show, there is never just one right answer or only
one solution to a problem. And the BEST answers are often hidden behind
When you're brainstorming, by yourself or with others, it's possible
the best idea will surface first, but the chances of that happening are
even less than the Ace of Spades being the first card dealt from a deck of
In fact, that's not a bad way to look at any one solution or idea …
just one playing card dealt from a deck. Many more right answers are
stacked behind the others. They are there if we keep looking for the next
Of course, there's the danger of being indecisive and becoming victim
of "paralysis of analysis", but that's another issue. It's rare
that you can have too many good ideas … too many good answers.
Next time you're faced with the challenge of solving a problem, think a
little longer. Ask a few more questions. Dig a little deeper. Don't settle
When you make your final answer, make sure it's a good one.
It just might be a million-dollar answer.
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